Business Pitch: Definition, Types & Importance

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Business Pitching Team: Roles & Importance

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:00 The Importance of Pitching
  • 1:55 Elevator & Live Plan Pitches
  • 2:57 One-Word &…
  • 3:54 Mystery & Rhyming Pitches
  • 4:57 Perfecting a Pitch
  • 5:30 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Speed Speed

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Scott Tuning

Scott has been a faculty member in higher education for over 10 years. He holds an MBA in Management, an MA in counseling, and an M.Div. in Academic Biblical Studies.

Expert Contributor
Steven Scalia

Steven completed a Graduate Degree is Chartered Accountancy at Concordia University. He has performed as Teacher's Assistant and Assistant Lecturer in University.

Attracting investors and clients can be tough for any business -- but especially, for new businesses. This lesson explores the most effective techniques for pitching to potential investors and customers.

The Importance of Pitching

In 1920, an aspiring young illustrator was fired from his job at a newspaper. 'You lack any form of creativity!' his boss told him. Over the next seven years, the artist took on odd jobs to pay the bills, all while continuing to pursue his dream of becoming an animator. During this time, he pitched, or presented, his cartoons countless times to banks, motion picture companies, and other potential supporters. Despite delivering over 300 pitches, he was rejected every single time.

Instead of giving up, the young artist took every rejection to heart and poured over the reasons his pitches were not securing investments. Each time, he adjusted his pitch and tried again. In 1928, he finally made a successful pitch to a motion picture company who agreed to use his animations in a film synchronized to music.

The film was a success and jump-started the career of the young artist, who was none other than Walt Disney. Through practice and persistence, Disney was able to turn his 300 rejections into what would ultimately become one of the most valuable brands in the world. That is the power of a great pitch.

More broadly put, a pitch is a presentation of a business idea to potential investors. People pitch a business because they need resources. If the goal is to raise startup cash, the target of the pitch is an investor. Other businesses pitch to potential customers to sell their product. Finally, some organizations pitch because they need a partner or resource to help them accomplish their mission.

It's important to remember that a pitch to an investor may not strictly seek startup capital. For example, a business may need an investment when it has an unexpected but very profitable order beyond its current capacity. Such a pitch is easier to make because investors feel far more secure with the purchase order in hand.

In this lesson, we'll explore different types of pitches you can use.

Elevator & Live Plan Pitches

While it's perfectly acceptable, and even encouraged, to have more than one business pitch ready to deliver, the most important pitch to bring to your first meeting with a potential customer is the elevator pitch. The idea of an elevator pitch is that it's short, just like an elevator ride. If executed well, this short pitch will spark the curiosity of the client and encourage them to ask more questions. Because of its brevity, an elevator pitch works great when seeking investors.

Another type of pitch is the live plan pitch, which relies more on visual aids than on speaking. The general idea of this pitch is to hand all of the customer's representatives a neatly formatted single page containing relevant information such as a market summary, financial information, or related legislation. This type of pitch is particularly effective when meeting with individuals and organizations who value empirical data, such as accounting firms, financial planners, and banks. With a bit of customization, this type of pitch can be delivered to a variety of investors or customers.

One-Word & Interrogative Pitches

Here are some mini slogans. For how many can you quickly identify the brand?

  1. Just do it!
  2. Think different.
  3. Got milk?
  4. I'm lovin' it.
  5. Imagination at work.

Slogans like these are great tools for pitching to customers because they are catchy and easy to remember. Although they often have more than one word, they are referred to as the one-word sales pitch because they are short, focused, and memorable pitches.

Another type of business pitch is interrogative. These types of pitches, usually made to customers, are characterized by a few questions during the first part of the pitch. This hook works by getting the customers to anticipate the solution before you even describe it. The questions can be abstract or concrete. Here are a few examples:

  1. What are the three most significant challenges your business is facing right now?
  2. Why do you think the industry is going to require xxx in the future?
  3. How is that process taking place right now, and how does it need to change?

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Additional Activities

Business Pitch Case Scenario

In the following case scenario, you will play the role of a strategy guru who is helping a start-up raise capital from investors. This scenario and the following assignment will help you apply your knowledge of business pitches.

Your client, ShoeRhythm Inc, is a start-up that developed a state-of-the-art shoe that also acts as a speaker. The shoes are designed for teenagers that want to be able to listen to music and dance anywhere. The product relies on a Bluetooth connection between the user's phone and the shoes to play the phone's music. While the company is confident that it will be able to persuade customers to buy their product, they are in desperate need of capital in order to ramp up production and achieve economies of scale. Your role as a strategy guru is to develop a series of business pitches that ShoeRhythm can use to entice investors to get involved with the company.

Business Pitch Assignment:

Using your creativity and the information in the above scenario, write a business pitch for each of the following categories:

  1. One-word or interrogative pitch (5 words maximum)
  2. Mystery or rhyming pitch (10 words maximum)
  3. Elevator pitch (100 words maximum)

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account